Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials

In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete x such that x is Sherlock Holmes.

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Tatjana von Solodkoff
University College Dublin

References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
On What There Is.W. V. O. Quine - 1948 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 221-233.
Nonexistence.Nathan Salmon - 1998 - Noûs 32 (3):277-319.
Creatures of Fiction.Peter van Inwagen - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (4):299 - 308.

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